Camelot Upsets the Competition
By Linda
CAMELOT, the operator of Lotto, the British national lottery, has taken the first steps towards creating a three-country European game that it hopes will revive its fortunes.

Dianne Thompson, chief executive of Camelot, denied yesterday that she had asked the government for permission to move into other areas of gambling, such as general sports betting.

The chief executive concedes, however, that she has had discussions with the Government over the longer-term future of the lottery. Ms Thompson said she hoped the British-French-Spanish game could be launched in spring 2004.

Any possible move by Camelot into sports betting was derided yesterday by William Hill. The bookmaking group said that as Camelot had not been able to make a success of running a monopoly it was difficult to see how it could succeed in the highly competitive world of sports betting.

“You need to have a licence. They don’t have one. They would need to have gambling instincts and they don’t,” a spokesperson for William Hill said .

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